The Best Places To Work: How Johnson & Johnson Stays On Top

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By Karyn Mullins

In 1886, Coca-Cola was invented, Grover Cleveland was President, and three brothers began their entrepreneurial journey with 14 employees. Those three brothers, Robert, James, and Edward Johnson started their medical sales company, Johnson & Johnson, -- a now $71.9 billion dollar company.

As Johnson & Johnson grew in employees, locations, and products, their values for employees have never wavered. That’s why you’ll continually find them on the top of my company, MedReps’, medical sales Best Places To Work report. This year, their current, former, and future-hopeful employees ranked the company as the Best Large Pharma Company to Work For and is among the top three overall best places to work in medical sales.

A current Johnson & Johnson employee said, “Johnson & Johnson is beyond a doubt the best employer in the medical field. Offering diversity, a safe, enjoyable workplace, understanding management, individual empowerment, and consideration of the employee are hallmarks of the JNJ credo.”

With 250 plus operating companies spanning across 60 countries, the Johnson & Johnson headquarters remains true to their founders’ roots in New Brunswick.

So, after all of these years, what’s their secret to keeping employees engaged, happy, and passionate about their work?

Here’s what the top medical companies, like Johnson & Johnson are doing today:

Products employees are passionate about

One of the biggest qualities medical sales professionals have is their passion and drive to help others with their products. That’s why 50 percent of respondents agreed, the best places to work need a solid product line.

That’s where Johnson & Johnson continues to thrive. With 54 consecutive years of dividend increases, according to Johnson & Johnson’s Anatomy of an IPO, the company must be creating products employees are willing to stand behind.

Whether in medical sales or fashionable dog accessories, the need to have products your employees believe in remains the same. However, if you have a solid product line, but employees don’t understand its importance, their interest will decline.

With each new product update or launch, have a team meeting introducing the product and changes. Explain how it will help consumers, why they’ll love it, and why you’re passionate about the upgrade.

Work-life balance catered to individual needs

Work-life balance is trending throughout the corporate world and employees lives -- personal and professional -- continue to benefit from it. In fact, 54 percent of employees in our Best Places To Work report said work-life balance is one of the top two most important things an employer can offer.

That’s a huge statement companies need to start really listening to. Aside from pay, employees crave a connection with employers who will allow them the flexibility to work where they’re most productive, or step out early to make it to their child’s soccer game on time.

A current Johnson & Johnson employee said, “They live their credo by putting patients first and treating employees as individuals -- not a number in an organizational chart.”

Just like Johnson & Johnson, in order to reach a level of work-life balance, you must first understand each individual’s needs. Employees are willing to put forth their best effort to keep your company alive and growing, but if you’re unsure of what they need to do, they’ll have a hard time reaching their growth potential.

Sit down with each employee to discuss what type of work-life balance will help them succeed. Because everyone is different, you may need to slightly alter your company’s work-life policies to fit their specific needs.

Competitive compensation packages

Money talks -- especially to medical sales employees. Seventy-two percent of those in our report listed competitive compensation as the most important benefit an employer can offer. Even in a field like medical sales, where paychecks are highly altered by commission, employees need companies backing them up in their efforts.

Like Johnson & Johnson, the most successful companies understand that the balance of direct pay, benefits, and a positive working environment creates a motivated and productive employee.

“I believe I have great benefits, including pension and 401k, competitive pay, and a great company culture,” said one Johnson & Johnson employee.

If your current pay structure is the best your company has to offer, consider alternative monetary options. Pension and 401k benefits show employees you’re invested in and care about the quality of their future. Or, offer fun rewards to those exceeding their daily duties with a positive recognition system.

No matter what business you’re in, the most important thing to remember is your employees -- the company’s most valuable asset. Keep the lines of communication open with frequent one-on-one meetings and employee surveys. Creating strong and lasting bonds with employees will form honest relationships. With these relationships, your team and company will continue to grow in a positive, forward motion.

What qualities do you think make up the best companies? Let us know!

Bio: Karyn Mullins is the EVP and General Manager at, a job board which gives members access to the most sought after medical sales jobs and pharmaceutical sales jobs on the Web.


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